SPO_230414 TENNIS1-1681487296062
USA's Taylor Fritz reacts after winning during his match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday. Image Credit: AFP

Monaco: Champion Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out of the Monte Carlo Masters when he slumped to a 6-2, 6-4 defeat against American Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Greek second seed Tsitsipas, who triumphed at the Monte Carlo Country Club in the last two editions, was never in the mix against Fritz, who reached the last four of a Masters event for the first time.

Eighth-seeded Fritz raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set, which he wrapped by winning his service game to love.

SPO_230414 TENNIS-1681487300818
Stefanos Tsitsipas hits a forehand return to Taylor Fritz. Image Credit: AFP

Signs of nerves

Tsitsipas improved slightly in the second set, only for Fritz to break decisively for 4-3 with a winner. He then held firm to set up a semi-final meeting with Russian Andrey Rublev, who earlier overcame some second-set nerves to dispatch German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff with a 6-1, 7-6(5) victory.

Rublev lost the first game on his serve before bagging six in a row in a quick opening set, but Struff, the world number 100, found his stride in the second as the fifth seed showed signs of nerves.

Rublev broke for 4-3, only for Struff to break back in the following game and force a tiebreak, in which the Russian regained his composure to prevail on his second match point.